The Eleven Best Concerts in Denver This Week
This week brings the surprising and powerful pop-punk revival to Englewood with a double-bill featuring Fall Out Boy and Paramore (whose leader recently skipped two dates on doctor's orders). Elsewhere, guitar hero Eric Johnson stops through, Sheryl Crow finishes off the Chatfield portion of the Botanic Gardens concert series and Future Islands comes to Fort Collins en route to top ten finishes on everyone's year-end album lists.
Photo by Caroline Yoo for the Riverfront Times. More here. Paramore plays Tuesday with Fall Out Boy at Fiddler's Green.
Denver Botanic Gardens : 7:00 p.m. August 11 and Chautauqua Auditorium : 8:00 p.m. August 12
As one of the most celebrated blues performers of our time, B.B. King has always had that sad, Southern sound running through his veins. As a child he sang sing on the street corners of Mississippi for lucky passers-by, until those corners became massive stages barely five years later. You can still find King belting out "Three O'Clock Blues" well into his 89th year, and he ain't stoppin' anytime soon if he has anything to say about it. King still averages some 100 shows a year, and though they're a long way from that Mississippi street corner, you can bet that he puts as much soul into his blues now as he did way back when.
Fall Out Boy and Paramore
Red Rocks Amphitheatre : 7:00 p.m. August 12
Punk has always been made to be atypical in both approach and presentation. Last year, however, few would expect Fall Out Boy, the once-TRL darling pop-punk five-piece, and Ryan Adams, one of the most genre-crossing musicians of our generation, to come together to release a hardcore, punk EP. In this case, the presentation, approach, and the collaboration is anything but expected. As if made in a completely hasty, indirect response to the vitriol spread by once-loyal fans (myself included), "Love, Sex, Death" is the perfect foil to Save Rock and Roll -- it's the actual rock 'n' roll that needs to be saved. Given their radio success with mega-hit "My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light 'Em Up)," Fall Out Boy's PAX AM Days is the unlikely, belated harbinger of the same message they set out to spread.
Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield : 6:30 p.m. August 13
The warm welcome for Sheryl Crow's 2013 album Easy only confirmed people's suspicions that Crow had actually been making country music for years. In truth, Nashville needs more mature female voices like hers.
John Hiatt & the Combo
Chautauqua Auditorium : August 13 and Denver Botanic Gardens : 7:00 p.m. August 12
Known for a distinctively gruff voice that masks his deft touch with a pen, John Hiatt is probably Indiana's third most famous native-born rocker after John Mellencamp and Axl Rose. He's got plenty of mailbox money from songs he wrote for folks like Bonnie Raitt ("Thing Called Love") and Bon Jovi ("Have a Little Faith in Me") but has built up a respectable following for his own solo albums, which can be pricklier and more exposed than the artists who cover him. Hiatt's 2012 album, Mystic Pinball, mingles cantankerous wisdom with feelings that can bruise as easily as any younger man's.
Aggie Theatre : 8:00 p.m. August 12
With its fusing of the best of analog and early digital synth-based music with a modern aesthetic, Baltimore's Future Islands might seem like a contemporary version of new wave to an uninformed listener. Really, though, the act is a closer musical cousin to Architecture and Mortality and Dazzle Ships-era Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, whose own sound was rooted in post-punk. Strong, fluid, atmospheric bass lines carry the songs along like boats at sea, boldly charting promising new territory in a hitherto undiscovered tropical archipelago of the imagination. There's also a curiously romantic undercurrent to the music that manifests itself in vocals that implore and passionately declare heartfelt emotions -- perhaps as a reminder that through the international language of music, no one is truly alone.
18300 W. Alameda Parkway, Morrison, CO
8500 Deer Creek Canyon Road, Littleton, CO
1007 York St., Denver, CO
204 S. College Ave., Fort Collins, CO
3553 Brighton Blvd., Denver, CO
3317 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO
204 S. College Ave., Fort Collins, CO